For sometime now, when at the mall, I am on food thrift mode, subsisting on inexpensive rice meals served with drink. I’ve been fattening up the shopping piggy as I have a bunch of items I am looking to tick off my list now that it’s sale season. I’ve been enjoying home-prepared lunch and snacks (baon) since 5th grade but bringing and eating some at the mall hardly seem appropriate.
It’s at times like this that I am grateful that there are still affordable meals available at QSRs and at food courts. Nothing fancy just wallet-friendly and filling, preferably with rice. Considering that a glass of softdrink at QSRs nowadays cost no less than P25 ala carte, rice meals are a steal.
There’s the Streetwise Meals at KFC, each a mere P50. The Flavor Shots Meal is a no frills meal comprised of fried breaded bite-size chicken, rice, softdrink and dipping sauce, a choice of sweet chili, which I think tastes like SM Bonus Sweet Chili Sauce, or mushroom gravy. Other meals in this category are the Spaghetti Meal, Chik N Fillet Burger and the recently launched Cheese Top Burger which trended on twitter last week and even got international attention via Jimmy Kimmel (The real TV ad’s here folks.). All come with a glass of softdrink.
At McDonald’s, they have the McSavers Meals, each pegged at P50, each served with a glass of softdrink. There’s the Crispy Chicken Fillet with rice Meal, McSpaghetti Meal and Crispy Chicken Sandwich Meal.
Over at Jollibee, their Burger Steak with rice Meal and Spaghetti Meal are at P49.
Potdog is a food stall found in a number of mall food courts. They offer fried treats like squidballs and siomai on skewers. The cheapest rice meal they have on their menu, at P55, is the crablets which are not really tiny crabs but crab-flavored puffs served on rice, garlic or plain, with a couple of dipping sauce options. Their sweet chili sauce uses chili powder as opposed to SM Bonus’ bigger chili flecks. Instead of softdrinks, the meals are complemented by iced tea, red or green. Actually, looking at their menu, if you do the math, you can form other meals (main, rice, drink) as cheap and one cheaper than crablets. Only, you get a a few pesos off when you get the meals already indicated in their menu.
What I like about these meals is that they don’t scrimp on the beverage. Potdog’s iced tea ain’t watered down. Unlike the drinks that are often bundled with meals at certain food stalls which are either bland or could barely wash down one’s meal.
This was my disappointment with the iced tea which came with the P45 promo meals at Satabachi, a food stall at the food court in Market Market. Too tiny. Their gyoza meal has three pieces of fried gyoza on rice with a side of stir fried veggies. It was okay, though not spectacular.
I know I’ve been having mostly fried foods, hardly healthy by health buff standards. It’s times like this when I miss Jollibee’s foray into the “carinderia” scene, Manong Pepe. Manong Pepe offered Filipino dishes and snacks, much like Mang Inasal, which is also owned by Jollibee. I’m hoping to make up for all the fried foods I’ve been downing once I have enough put aside. For now, I’m off to dinner with the family.